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_ kt t rgn, by 
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G. D. E. R, 


The first of thes2 papers was read at 
the meeting of the New York Library 
Association, held at Columbia University, 
September 28, 1911; the second contains 
matter necessarily omitted from the first 
paper from limitations of time. The 
papers are wholly from original sources in 
the sense that no statements are made on 
the authority of secondary sources and 
effort has been made to use only transla- 
tions by acknowledged experts; it is, 
however, founded on translations, not on 
the original texts. A very brief ac- 
count of the best or most accessible of 
the sources used is given in the appendix. 

Princeton, N. J. 

September twenty-ninth, 1911. 



Some Old Egyptian Librarians i 

Supplementary Paper 57 

Sources 82 

Index 86 



There are two apologies for introduc- 
ing this topic at a session set apart for col- 
leg"e librarians : first because the moral of 
the paper is pointed at the University and 
second because there is some reason to 
suppose that the Old Egyptian colleges 
were conducted in libraries and by librar- 
ians were in short library-universities if 
not university libraries. 

That the schools of ancient Egypt were 
library-universities in the sense that they 
were held in libraries by librarians, two 
examples will suggest. In the famous 
first Anastasi Papyrus (as quoted in Er- 
man, p. 380), the eloquent son of Nen- 
nofre describes himself as "proficient in 
the sacred writings . . . powerful in 
the work of Seshait ; a servant of the God 



Thoth in the House of Books . . . 
teacher in the Hall of Books". It is prob- 
ably not necessary to explain that the 
House of Books and Hall of Books and 
Case of Books were common technical 
terms for the library according as a chest 
or room or whole building was applied to 
the purpose. It may be necessary how- 
ever, to explain that any priest of the 
book-gods Seshait or Thoth was by that 
very token likely to be a library employee 
of some sort even when it is not, as in this 
case, more explicitly described. The ser- 
vant of Thoth might, of course, be a 
writer rather than a keeper of books, but, 
in the earliest dates, the servant of Thoth 
or Seshait, whether found acting as 
author, copyist, or architect, was also a 
keeper of books. We have, at any event, 
in this case, clearly a teacher in the Hall 
of Books and this Hall, with equal clear- 
ness, was not a scriptorium but the place 
of books for use. It is worth noting in- 


cidentally, as a side light on the librarians 
of the time, that this librarian-professor 
says "I had mounted the horse that be- 
longed to me", which may indicate that 
he was a man of athletic tastes or the con- 
trary, but which does suggest that the of- 
fice of university librarian was well 
enough thought of (thousands of years 
ago) to pay more than enough for the 
bare necessaries of life. 

The second example shows that the pal- 
ace school was also held in the library, 
for it appears that when King Chufu's 
grandson went to school he, like the 
children of plainer parents who were 
brought up in the palace with the royal 
children, became a "writer in the House 
of Books". It is to be remembered that 
the idea of an education in the earliest 
days seems to have been chiefly, or wholly, 
bound up with this idea of writing. The 
other two R's were merely incidental. 
Every educated man, every graduate of a 


sacred college, a palace school or a Treas- 
ury school, was a scribe, or writer, just 
as everyone in the Middle Ages was a 
cleric, or clerk, and every college grad- 
uate used to be a Bachelor of Arts. He 
might be a military or treasury or stable, 
temple, palace or library scribe but if he 
was an educated man, in whatever field, 
he was a "scribe", and it may be added, 
if a scribe, then an official also. 

It is worth while adding too that these 
old library-universities were also library 
schools in something of the modern sense, 
for it is said of one such school that it 
was for the training of "every sort of 
scribes" and this must have included 
among others the scribes of the library. 
It will be noticed that since this was for 
education in all the professions, it was a 
true university. 

As for the other excuse, it may be said 
that to any one who has watched the pro- 
gress of excavation work in the eastern 


Mediterranean region during the past 
twenty years, in view of the College cur- 
riculum and of graduate studies, it be- 
comes increasingly clear that Egypt and 
Babylonia at least must soon take a much 
larger place in University thought than 
they now do. Granted that nothing can 
take the place of Greek in the matter of 
finish or in the making of a polished 
mind, yet in one prime element of human 
cultivation something has arisen which 
quite supersedes it. This is the element 
which used to be described as "antiquity" 
or "antiquities". Polish is the perfection 
of education in two dimensions but "an- 
tiquity" is what adds the third dimension 
and makes a surface a solid body. The 
history of human civilization having now 
moved back, cultivated men must have a 
perspective of three thousand years at 
least more than Greece or Judea can give. 
Greek has become a modern language and 
the hey-day of Greek history was far 


back of the middle point between oldest 
Egypt and to-day. Library histories used 
to begin with the Alexandrian library but 
some of the librarians to be mentioned to- 
day lived longer before the founder of the 
Alexandrian library than the latter did be- 
fore our day. Without pretending that 
the Egyptian language can compare in 
culture value with the most perfect lan- 
guage ever invented for the expression of 
occidental ideas, as Greek most certainly 
is, it may be fairly said that the archae- 
ology, at least, of Egypt is quite com- 
parable with that of Greece in power, if 
not in exquisiteness, and that too in archi- 
tecture, social or civil institutions or even 
moral ideas, if indeed the best of the philo- 
sophical ideas of Greece were not also bor- 
rowed from Egypt without improvement. 
Add to this the sheer antiquity of it and 
you have an element of undergraduate 
culture which cannot long be neglected 
in the college curriculum. 

And when it comes to post graduate 
work the matter is more obvious still. 
Here is the chance now to quarry out 
great blocks of fresh material where the 
classical scholars are, even with their own 
great finds by excavation, hardly more 
than working over the chips of former 
colossal work into statuette theses. If 
universities are backward in this fascinat- 
ing as well as fundamental field, uni- 
versity librarians must share the blame 
with the rest. While they cannot go very 
far ahead of the general opinion of the 
university in getting books, they can at 
least do something by way of providing 
readable books for undergraduates, and 
they can at least do research work as to 
their own lines in these fields. 

A chief point of this paper is therefore 
to suggest how much unworked material 
there is about library matters in ancient 
Egypt. The very excellent article on li- 
braries in the new Britannica has good, 


though still scanty, gleanings from this 
field, but in general it is very little worked. 
As lately as 1905 a very excellent writer 
in a very admirable encyclopaedia says 
that the most ancient library of which we 
have precise knowledge is that of A33iir- 
banipal (668-626 B.C.) and that while in 
Egypt there must have been collections 
of papyrus rolls and, while EJip..dorus 
speaks of the library of Ramses II, and 
two officials of Ramses' time are described 
as librarians, no details are known of the 
early Egyptian libraries. As a matter of 
fact we know almost as much about the 
palace library of Ikhnaton in say 1370 
B.C. as we do about that of Assurbanipal 
we know its location in the palace and 
something of its ground plan and a couple 
of hundred of the tablet-books contained 
are still extant. What is more, we have its 
official name and the still existing stamped 
bricks on which it is called "the place of 
the records of the palace of the king". 


We know again that a certain temple li- 
brary, a hundred years before that, con- 
tained a certain historical work on a 
leather roll and that the palace library of 
king Nefirikere, 1300 years earlier still or 
say 2750 JB.C, had medical papyri in 
portable cases which shows that both 
palace and temple libraries were more 
than mere archives and there are scores 
of other details like these. 

To go into .all these details is, however, 
too big a task for a short paper and this 
one therefore proposes to limit its field, 
first, by cutting out details of libraries 
which are not at least half a millennium 
older than that "oldest library of which 
we have details" (i. e. before Assurbani- 
pal), second, by excluding details con- 
cerning building, books and methods of 
administration except as they appear in- 
cidentally; third, by excluding the more 
doubtful and obscure references, and 
finally it is to be feared that lack of time 


may make it necessary to cut out the less 
interesting and informing references. 

The very title of this paper has amused 
some, quite as if they thought the subject 
would be exhausted by the sentence "there 
were none", but nevertheless the paper is 
in sober historical earnest. It, in fact, 
proposes, among other things, to intro- 
duce to you by name and date and with 
some details of their lives, not always 
wholly without piquancy, twenty-one li- 
brarians who lived long before Assur- 
banipal, and by the same token, much 
longer before the Alexandrian library was 
founded. Moreover this paper makes no 
pretence of exhaustiveness it is only a 
desultory beginning in a rich field. It is 
a mere sample so to speak of the wealth 
of material which has not yet gotten much 
into the encyclopaedias or the universi- 
ties. So much for the moral. 

If this account of Egyptian librarians 
begins with the librarians of the gods, 


Thoth and Seshait please do not think that 
the paper is to be legendary or mytho- 
logical in character; on the contrary, it 
will deal with real human librarians and 
the genuine historical monuments of these 
librarians in papyri or inscriptions. The 
mythological librarians, however, have 
two great virtues: first they embody the 
philosophy of books and libraries current 
among the Egyptians and second these 
gods were in fact the gods of the librar- 
ians themselves, seriously worshipped by 
them. The significance of this latter fact 
for the biographical interpretation of his- 
torical human librarians is very great, for 
as a man's god is, so is he. Tell me a 
man's god and I will tell you the char- 
acter of the man. There is a sound psy- 
chological reason for this, since a man's 
god is that on which his thoughts most 
dwell (or conversely that on which one's 
thoughts most dwell is one's god) and 
what our thoughts dwell upon as ideal 

that we become. And if, farther, a man's 
ideal of his profession is made personal, 
whether that person be human or divine, 
this hero worship, or god worship, works 
all the more powerfully. Not to know 
Thoth is thus to miss the key to the 
Egyptian librarian, for Thoth was the 
ideal of the Egyptian librarian, constantly 
in his mind for imitation. 

And it must be confessed that in char- 
acter Thoth is not a bad ideal for any 
one nor in activities either, for that mat- 
ter, though one must pass some strictures 
on that feature of his library economy 
which consisted in converting so far as 
possible all his library into kept books or 
secret writings caviar to the general. 
Yet, as we shall see, he was not so much 
the god of the private library and confi- 
dential archives as he was public librarian 
trying to issue only fit books to fit persons 
for proper use. You may be spared the 
other book gods since when they act as 



book gods they may be regarded as differ- 
ent manifestations of these two, but of 
Seshait and of Thoth it is needful to 
know something in order to understand 
the mind of the Egyptian librarian. 

The oldest and greatest of Egyptian li- 
brarians was then the god Thoth, the 
Moon god, Hermes to the Greeks, Mer- 
cury to the Romans, Nabu to the Baby- 
lonians, scribe of the gods. It is true that 
Seshait, the wife of Thoth is hardly less 
old and is expressly called the "Lady of 
libraries", but if Seshait is "Mistress of 
the Hall of books' 7 on the base of one door 
of the library of the Ramesseum, Thoth, 
is called "Lord of the Hall of Books" on 
the other. Those therefore who take 
alarm at the rapid f eminisation of libraries 
and might feel badly to think that the 
patron divinity of libraries was a goddess, 
may take comfort in the fact that the 
great god of libraries was in truth mascu- 
line and Seshait only his better half and 


that too in the days when it took many 
individuals to make one better half. 

Seshait is called upon the monuments 
"She who draws in her horns, mistress of 
writings, mistress of building, the lady of 
libraries". She is thus patron of archi- 
tects as well as of librarians and she is 
farther the goddess of history. The title 
"She who draws in her horns" has been 
variously explained but, remembering 
that she is the moon goddess, is seems to 
point clearly to the waxing or the waning 
moon. It would be interesting to show 
how in her character of Hathor she car- 
ries to Ra the books of Thoth as a sort 
of library page, and also to trace her in 
Tefnut, the lion goddess, Nephthys and 
all her other forms, but time forbids. 

As for Thoth, a book could be written 
on his librarian aspects. He is the god of 
learning, numbering, and measuring, giver 
of written words "lord of the sacred writ- 
ings". He is founder of all the sciences, 


creator of heaven and earth by his words, 
the god who raises from the dead also by 
his words, and who weighs and records 
a man's deeds at the final judgment He 
personifies expressions of all sorts as Ho~ 
rus does thought, and he is the historical 
prototype of the Logos of Plato, Philo, 
and St. John. 

Two chapters of the Book of the Dead 
(182-3) are hymns to Osiris, supposed to 
be spoken by Thoth himself, and in these 
we are supposed to have his own idea of 
his own ideals. "I am Thoth the perfect 
scribe", he says, "whose hands are pure, 
who opposes every evil deed, who writes 
down justice and who hates every wrong, 
he who is the writing reed of the inviolate 
god, the lord of laws, whose words are 
written and whose words have dominion 
over the two earths". 

Note that Thoth is the god of righteous- 
ness, lord of laws ; and note that the writ- 
ten tyvords have dominion. Later this 


came to relate to the magic which played 
so great a part in Egyptian life. Books 
were kept from the common people be- 
cause the written words gave superhuman 
power. Later you will hear of a librarian 
who possibly lost his life because he in- 
cautiously and contrary to the rules loaned 
out a book of magic to the wrong per- 

Again Thoth says "I am Thoth the 
favorite of Ra . . . the lord of laws, 
who pacifies the two earths by the power 
of his wisdom . . . who drives away 
enmity and dispels quarrels" . . . 
Mr. Carnegie, you see, was not the first 
to unite the patronage of libraries with a 
propaganda of arbitration in both hemi- 

Once more Thoth says : "I am the lord 
of justice, the witness of right before the 
gods ; I direct the words so as to make the 
wronged victorious ; I am Thoth the lord 
of justice, who giveth victory to him who 


is injured and who taketh the defense of 
the oppressed." 

A noble practical ideal for any librarian 
is it not? And after all is not this the 
very key note of real education? It is, 
always has been, and, by the nature of 
things, everlastingly must be true that 
learning is the irresistible weapon of the 
weak against the strong and the strong 
against the stronger not learning for it- 
self but learning dominated by a burning 
zeal for justice and righteousness, the 
"two truths" of Thoth. In the present 
social unrest, economics is not the key- 
word of salvation but learning bent on 
justice and on righteousness. 

Again Thoth says: "I have come to 
thee; my hands bring (Truth) Maat; my 
heart does not contain any falsehood; I 
offer the Maat before thy face; I know 
her; I swear by her." 

This interesting passion for truth is a 
constant note in the Egyptian inscriptions 


and corresponds with the finest spirit of 
modern science while it points also to the 
foundation sore of modern social condi- 
tions the decay, not of regard for public 
law, but regard for that law which a man 
makes for himself by giving his word. 

Finally Thoth says : "I have dispelled 
darkness and driven away the storm; I 
have given the sweet breaths of the North 
. f . I give Ra to set as Osiris and 
Osiris to be setting as Ra. I give him to 
enter the mysterious cave in order to re- 
vive the heart of him whose heart is mo- 
tionless." "I am Thoth, who giveth Osi- 
ris victory over his enemies ; I am Thoth 
who prepares tomorrow and also foresees 
what will come afterwards; his action is 
not in vain when he settles what is in the 
sky, the earth, and the Tuat, and when he 
gives life to the future ones." 

It is too long a story to tell how Ra, 
the Sun-god, setting as Osiris becomes 
Thoth, the moon god, who in turn sets in 


the rising sun of the new day, and how 
this is applied to death and the resurrec- 
tion. It is still less possible to set forth 
in detail how the spirit which revives the 
heart of the dead is knowledge, or how, 
when Thoth gives life to the future ones, 
it is by means of Truth and through the 
agency of writings, but the whole story 
up to the final judgment in the hall of the 
Two Truths and the everlasting life where 
Truth is food and drink for the immortals 
is one of profound and noble symbolism, 
fascinating in interest to book lovers. 

The symbols of Thoth are the ibis or 
ibis-headed man and, what is a bit pain- 
ful at first sight to librarians, the ape. 
There is not time to expound the many 
and subtle ideas which turn in and around 
the various aspects or incarnations of 
Thoth even to dwell a little, as was in- 
tended, on his seven assistants, who may 
be supposed to be the patron gods of sub- 
librarians. As a sample, however, a few 


words about the ape-symbol may be par- 

These "cynocephalous apes" were, you 
remember to begin with, real apes, really 
worshipped. They are the lords of writ- 
ing, of music, of the sciences, and the to- 
tem so to speak of the library tribe. They 
stand for Thoth, for the full moon, and 
for the sun at the equinox. At first sight, 
as has been said, it is a bit shocking to 
find one's trade symbolized by the monkey 
tribe, but when one looks at the facts and 
considers how the Egyptians looked at 
them, there is balm in Gilead, for it will 
be remembered that most of the Egyp- 
tian gods had their symbols and we may, 
to begin with, comfort ourselves with the 
fact that Seshait, in one of her forms, is 
the lion goddess. Moreover, if the cow, 
the cat, the dog, the jackal, were honor- 
able symbols, much more so the ape, high- 
est of all animals in intelligence. And, 
indeed, this is what the Egyptians meant, 


for the apes were used as symbol because 
the Egyptians said there was a certain race 
of apes which knew how to write. When, 
therefore, they chose their specimens to 
serve them as gods, the priests would give 
pen and ink to them to try them and see 
if they belonged to the right race. There 
is, Lanzone says, a legend among the 
Arabs to-day that the apes formerly knew 
how to write, but for their sins had had 
the power withdrawn by the Creator. It 
would be a little rash to say that the 
Egyptians invented the Darwinian hypo- 
thesis, but in these days when the com- 
parative psychologists have taken away 
speech and even reason as distinctive of 
man and have left to him as distinctive 
only the ability to permanently record his 
thoughts in writing, it is of interest to 
note that the Egyptians had singled out 
writing as characteristic of that missing 
link, the lost race of the writing ape. It 
only remains for some wise person to 


show that the pithecanthropes of Haeckel 
and the lost cynocephalous ape are one and 
we may offer farther this bibliographical 
contribution to the research. In Egyptian 
lore, the ape not only writes, but sits upon 
the middle point of the balances, standing 
thus for equilibrium, and, further, in his 
astronomical aspect he is the equinox, 
from which two things it is an easy step 
to see in him the missing link between 
man and animal, as in his character of 
moon god he is the link between Turn, the 
setting sun, and Shu, the rising sun. 
These four apes, harbingers of the day, 
who sit upon the prow of the barque of 
Ra and live upon truth, are Thoth, the 
moon god, Lord of Truth. 

Passing thus, strictly according to the 
manner of modern evolution, from the 
gods upward to man, by way of the ape, 
we come to the human librarians. 
^ The earliest systematic history known 
to literature is the book of annals of the 



Egyptian kings found on the Palermo 
stone. Although the work in its present 
form dates only from 2721 B.C., the part 
containing the history of the early dynas- 
ties back to 3400 is known, from linguistic 
and chronological evidence, to be contem- 
porary with the events recorded. The 
work is therefore a true chronicle or 
journal, like the Hebrew book of days or 
the annals of Thutmose III. In this 
chronicle, about fifteen years before the 
end of the first dynasty, or about 3200 
B.C. it is officially recorded that the priest 
of Seshait "stretched the cord" for the 
house called Thrones-of-the-gods, the de- 
sign for which had been prepared the pre- 
vious year. This recalls the fact that a 
dozen centuries later under Sesostris I, at 
the beginning of a temple in Heliopolis, 
it was "the scribe of the sacred book" who 
stretched the cord. This ceremony of 
stretching the cord or laying out the 
ground plan of the temple, corresponded 


to our ceremony of laying the corner- 
stone, and in later times it seems always 
to have been performed by the king him- 
self. In these earlier times, however, the 
process seems to have been conducted by 
the architect. The priest of Seshait was, 
as before noticed, always a librarian-ar- 
chitect in those days and the two cere- 
monies, one about 3200 B.C. and one 
about 2000 (say 1980) B.C. were prac- 
tically the same, although in the one case 
it was the priest of Seshait and in the 
other the scribe of the sacred book, that 
is the librarian of the secret books of 
Thoth, who performed the ceremony. The 
designing of the previous year, like all 
such designing, as will be seen, was doubt- 
less preceded by a careful study in the 
libraries of the necessary conditions and 
was doubtless done in the House of Books 
and under the direction of the anony- 
mous priest who "stretched the cord". 
Just before the time when these an- 

nals of which we have been speaking 
or about 2750 B. C, lived Henhathor 
"scribe of the king's records", the son of 
Nekonetkh "king's confident to Userkaf ", 
first king of the fifth dynasty. He is men- 
tioned in three documents and with him, 
on a certain statute of his father, is men- 
tioned also an "inferior scribe of the 
king's records" the librarian thus and 
the assistant librarian of the king's ar- 
chives. Henhathor's father in these docu- 
ments bequeathes his office and the land 
which went with it to be divided between 
his sons, each to have the office of priest 
a month about, but, inasmuch as there 
were thirteen sons, one month and its land 
had to be divided between two, and quite 
properly as we may think the librarian 
son seems to have been the favored one 
and made residuary heir of all the father's 
estate or was it perhaps because he was the 
most needy ? 

The most powerful man at the court of 


King Dedkere-Isesi (2683-2655 B. C.) 
was the "chief judge, vizier, chief archi- 
tect, chief scribe of the king's writings, 
Senezemib", a not uncommon combination 
of titles which the king himself uses of 
him in a letter concerning his plans for a 
lake (or garden) in the palace Isesi. In 
the inscription put upon the tomb of Sene- 
zemib by his son Mehi it tells how Sene- 
zemib as "master of secret things of his 
majesty 1 ' attended his majesty while he 
was in the place of writings. The editor 
remarks in a note that the king thus 
"visited the public archives in company 
with the vizier", but, while it was the 
vizier who accompanied him, it was, of 
course, in his capacity of chief librarian 
that he did so. 

It may be remarked at this point that 
the king's court or council (of thirty?) 
seems always, during a good part of 
Egyptian history, to have included e.v- 
officio the chief librarian of the palace ar- 


chives and a librarian of the sacred writ- 
ings. We have here the case where one 
of them attained, as several later did, the 
supreme honor of being the king's vizier. 
It should be noted also that Senezemib 
was chief judge, for this has its bearing 
in the later biographies, where librarians 
appear as judges in criminal cases. 

Senezemib's son built for him a tomb, 
which took a year and three months in 
building, and he provided also a suitable 
endowment for keeping up the proper 
religious rites connected with it. This 
endowment included the support of mbr- 
tuary priests to make the usual offerings 
and apparently included a perpetual grant 
by the king for the offerings, confirmed 
by royal decree sealed "with the seal of 
writing". The son had this deed of en- 
dowment "put into writing" and doubtless 
properly recorded in the record office, but 
it was also, as he says, "engraved by the 
artists" on the walls of the tomb together 


with the two letters which the "king him- 
self" wrote with his own fingers in order 
to praise Senezemib, and an account of his 
searching with him in the library in the 
preliminary investigations concerning 
matter of the artificial lake. 

Just about one hundred years later in 
the reign of King Pepi I (2590-2570), 
Khenu, the scribe of the king's records, 
appears as member of an expedition to 
Hammamat to secure stone for Pepi's 
pyramid at Sakkara. 

Under the second King Pepi (2566- 
2476), who followed the first Pepi after 
an interim of 4 years, an overseer of the 
king's records again attains the viziership. 
Zau, the son of Khui, and his wife, Nebet, 
was overseer of the king's records, chief 
justice, and vizier like Senezemib, but it 
does not appear from the inscriptions that 
he was architect or had any relationship 
with the public works. He was doubly 
a "prophet", chief ritual priest, sem 


priest, wearer of the royal seal, and mas- 
ter of all wardrobes. 

It is to be noted that he is master of 
all wardrobes. Some wardrobes were 
certainly true wardrobes in that they con- 
tained the ritual garments of the gods, and 
it was one of the duties of the master of 
the wardrobe to clothe the image of the 
god at the public festivals, but the ward- 
robes contained also the secret things in 
general, including probably "the secret 
writings" so often mentioned. Indeed, 
the wardrobes were likely the treasure 
chests such as in later times and other 
lands contained clothing or books or any 
other treasure. This, however, is to be 
taken as probable rather than proved. 

This Prince Zau had five brothers, all 
named Zau, and two sisters, both named 
Enekhnes-Merire, both of whom were 
married to King Pepi I. One of these 
sisters was the mother of King Mernere, 
successor of Pepi, and the other of Pepi 


II who was, therefore, nephew of Zau, 
From this it is clear that this "overseer 
of the king's records" did not lack for in- 
fluence. It appears that he was already 
living in the reign of Pepi I, but when he 
died it is hard to say even approximately. 
Evidently he died in the reign of Pepi 
II, which began in 2566, but as Pepi's 
reign is the longest in all history, covering 
ninety years, it does not fix the date of his 
death within very narrow limits. 

During the next five hundred years 
there were doubtless librarians but the 
writer of this paper has not yet found 
any sure reference to themj. Then comes 
the anonymous Scribe of the Sacred Book 
who stretched the cord for the temple in 
Heliopolis, as before mentioned, and as 
recorded on a leather roll, copied five hun- 
dred years after from the lost inscription 
of Sesostris I, recording how the king in 
1977 B. C. called together his court to 
consider building or rebuilding a temple 


to the Sun God. As has been already 
suggested and as will later appear spe- 
cifically in regard to such undertakings, 
there was undoubtedly one, if there were 
not two, librarians among the "compa- 
nions of the court" with whom the king 
took counsel at this time, and Indeed it 
appears that it was of the librarians that 
he first took counsel. 

Shortly after this and during the same 
reign of Sesostris I, Mentuhotep, master 
of secret things of the house of sacred 
writings and also master of the king's 
writings of the royal presence as well as 
secret things of the "divine words" (or 
hieroglyphics) and prophet of Maat, 
(goddess of truth) became vizier and 
chief judge. Mentuhotep conducted the 
work in the temple and on the sacred 
barque, dug the lake, and masoned the 
well at Abydos. A tomb was built for 
him by royal decree at Abydos, recording, 
in the language of the decree, "all thy 


offices and all pleasing things which thou 
didst". These inscriptions are so filled 
through and through with references to 
his proceeding and his ideals, so obviously 
colored by the examples of Thoth, that 
it is worth reading in full this biographical 


Hereditary prince, vizier and chief 
judge, attached to Nekhen, prophet of 
Maat (goddess of Truth), giver of laws, 
advancer of offices, confirming the bound- 
ary records, separating a land-owner 
from his neighbor, pilot of the people, sat- 
isfying the whole land, a man of truth 
before the Two Lands, hereditary prince 
in judging the Two Lands, supreme head 
in judgment, putting matters in order, 
wearer of the royal seal, chief treasurer, 

Hereditary prince, count, chief of all 
works of the king, making the offerings 
of the gods to flourish, setting this land 
. . . according to the command of the 



god . . . sending forth two brothers 
satisfied with the utterances of his mouth, 
upon whose tongue is the writing of 
Thoth, more accurate than the weight, 
likeness of the balances, fellow of the king 
in counseling . . . , giving attention 
to hear words, like a god in his hour, 
excellent in heart, skilled in his fingers, 
exercising an office like him who holds it, 
favorite of the king before the Two 
Lands, his beloved among the companions, 
powerful am(ong the officials, having an 
advanced seat to approach the throne of 
the king, a man of confidences to whom 
the heart opens. 

Hereditary prince over the 
(royal) castle, finding the speech of the 
palace, knowing that which is in every 
body (heart), putting a man into his real 
place, finding matters in which there is 
irregularity, giving the lie to him that 
speaks it, and the truth to him that brings 
it, giving attention, without an equal, 
good at listening, profitable in speaking, 
an official loosening the (difficult) knot, 
whom the king (lit., god) exalts above 



millions, as an excellent man, whose name 
he knew, true likeness of love, free from 
doing deceit, whose steps the court heeds, 
overthrowing him that rebels against the 
king, hearing the house of the council of 
thirty, who puts his terror among the 
barbarians when he has silenced the Sand- 
dwellers, pacifying the rebels because of 
their deeds, whose actions prevail in the 
two regions, lord of the Black Land and 
the Red Land, giving commands to the 
South, counting the [number] of the . 
. . of the Northland, in whose brilliance 
all men move, pilot of the people, giver 
of food, advancing offices, lord of designs, 
great in love, associate of the king in the 
great castle, hereditary prince, count, chief 
treasurer, Mentuhotep, he says : 

"I am a companion beloved of his lord, 
doing that which pleases his god daily, 
prince, count, sem priest, master of every 
wardrobe of Horus, prophet of Anubis of 
, . . the hry ydb, Mentuhotep, prince 
in the seats of 'Splendor 3 , at whose voice 
they (are permitted to) speak in the king's 
house, in charge of the silencing of the 



courtiers, unique one of the king, without 
his like, who sends up the truth to the 
palace, great herald of good things, alone 
great, sustaining alive the people. One 
to whom the great come in obeisance at 
the double gate of the king's-house ; at- 
tached to Nekhen, prophet of Maat, pillar 
[before] the Red Land, overseer of the 
western highlands, leader of the magnates 
of South and North, advocate of the peo- 
ple . . . , merinuter priest, prophet 
of Horus, master of secret things of the 
house of sacred writings, governor of the 
(royal) castle, prophet of Harkefti, great 
lord of the royal wardrobe, who ap- 
proaches the limbs of the king, overseer 
of the double granary, overseer of the 
double silverhouse, overseer of the double 
gold-house, master of the king's writings 
of the (royal) presence, wearer of the 
royal seal, sole companion, master of se- 
cret things of the 'divine words' (hiero- 
glyphics), chief treasurer, Mentuhotep." 

In the reign of Sesostris III (1887- 
1849) a certain Sehetepibre was obviously 



a successor to Mentuhotep, for he copied 
much of the latter's epitaph word for 
word on his own tombstone. He was 
"Master of secret things", but it is not 
expressly said that these included the se- 
cret writings. 

In the second year of king Neferhotep 
(probably not very long after 1788) his 
rrfajesty "spake to the nobles and compa- 
nions" who were in his suite "the real 
scribes of the hieroglyphics, the masters 
of all secrets" (saying) "my heart hath 
desired to see the ancient writings of 
Atum, open ye for me for a great investi- 
gation". These writings of Atum were, 
it seems, in the temple at Heliopolis. So 
these companions said . . . "Let thy 
majesty proceed to the libraries (house 
of writings or rolls) and let thy majesty 
see every hieroglyph." "His majesty pro- 
ceeded to the library. His majesty open- 
ed the rolls, together with these compa- 
nions. Lo, his majesty found the rolls of 


the house of Osiris . . . lord of 
Abydos." Travelling thus from Thebes 
to Heliopolis the king examined the books 
in the library with his librarians, got the 
information which he wished, as to how 
rightly to prepare the temjple of Osiris 
and gave orders to have things carried 
out accordingly. [Note here what we 
have before observed that the two librar- 
ians appear in his court officially, among: 
his nobles and companions.] 

The next three hundred years, includ- 
ing the troubled Hyksos period, is barren 
of librarian references, if not of librarians. 
It is in this Hyksos time that Joseph was 
in Egypt, if indeed he ever was or was in 
Egypt. Then in the reign of Thutmose 
III came Senmut. 

In this reign (say 1501-1447 B. C.) 
there was a most interesting and famous 
historical struggle between Queen Hatsh- 
epsut, daughter of Thutmose I, and Thut- 
mose III. The mother of Hatshepsut, 


Ahmose, was daughter of the old royal 
line and it was through her that the title 
of Thutmose I came. After the death of 
Thutmose I, it was a great struggle as to 
whether Hatshepsut should be Queen or 
some son of the king's other wives, hav- 
ing no right of succession. As the his- 
torian says, "Thutmpse III, who was 
son of the king by an obscure wife, as 
a young prince of no prospects had been 
placed in the Karnak temple as a priest 
with the rank of prophet." The matter 
seems to have been compromised by marri- 
age between the two which did not end, 
however, but rather began the feud of 
the Thutmosids. Thutmose kept trying to 
limit the honors of Hatshepsut and she 
on the other hand succeeded, now and 
then, in putting him into the background. 
Thutmose was compelled by the adherents 
of Hatshepsut to make her co-regent. 
This Queen Hatshepsut is called the "first 
great woman in history", and "the most 


powerful noble" among her followers was 
Senmut. He was not vizier, but it is 
said that he "all but held that office". It 
is farther said that no doubt the success 
of the Queen's career was largely due to 
him. Senmut was a prophet and thought 
it worthy of record that "he had access 
to all the writings of the prophets". He 
was "master of secret things in the tem- 
ple" and he was royal tutor to the young 
princess Nefrure. This combination of 
prophet, tutor, master of secret things, 
and more especially the fact of his access 
to the secret writings which were in the 
charge of the prophets of whom he was 
himself one, point pretty clearly to a li- 
brarianship. The editors of his inscrip- 
tion remark it as interesting that he has 
put an archaic text, evidently taken from 
these secret writings, on his own tomb- 

During this same reign of Thutmose 
III, there appears on the tomb of the 


famous vizier, Rekhmire, a new class of 
alleged special librarians. In the extreme- 
ly interesting description of the duties of 
a vizier, mention is made of the viziers 
and what is supposed to be the keepers of 
the viziers' records but what, on the face, 
seems clearly to refer, not to the keepers 
of the viziers' records, but to the keepers 
of other libraries. It appears from the 
account that, in acting as chief judge in 
the conducting of a trial, the vizier might 
often have occasion to send to various 
libraries or halls of records, and it pre- 
scribes that any writing sent for by him 
from any hall shall, if it does not prove 
to be a confidential writing, be taken 
to him with certificates of the keepers, 
sealed by the officers and the scribes as 
well. After use it is to be sealed with 
the seal of the vizier and returned to its 
place, but it is added : "If he furthermore 
ask for a confidential writing, then let it 
not be taken by the keepers thereof." 


Whether this account relates to the vizier's 
librarians or not, there is specific account 
of such librarians later. 

Rekhmire, himself a vizier, was master 
of secret things in the temple of Amon, 
as well as vizier, judge, superintendent 
of the prophets and priests, and chief of 
the six chief courts of justice. It may be 
remarked at this point that the chief judge 
was also, as chief judge, a sort of librarian 
in that he had charge of the forty books 
of the law the forty "skins" or leather 
rolls of the law which the vizier must, 
according to these rules, have open before 
him when the court was in session. Rekh- 
mire, himself, is, in fact, depicted in this 
tomb with the forty rolls before him 
the picture of a book collection from the 
1 5th century B. C. 

During this period and later there are 

many references to recorders and to the 

scribes of recorders and these references 

perhaps imply local records, but it is ex- 



pressly said in these inscriptions of Rekh- 
mire that the records of the nome, or 
county, are kept in the vizier's hall and 
it will be safer for us to count the record- 
ers and their scribes as clerks doing the 
recording rather than librarians in charge 
of the records. 

One of the most famous names in 
Egyptian literature is that of Amenhotep, 
the son of Hapi, who lived in the reign 
of Amenhotep III (1411-1375). It is as 
author that he is chiefly famous and in 
later times he was worshipped as a god. 
It was for proverbs or wisdom literature 
that he was famed and in an inscription 
on his tomb at Thebes, it is said, "his name 
shall abide forever, his sayings shall not 
perish". It is the irony of fate that only 
nine proverbs survive under his name, and 
these are thought to be apocryphal. Amen- 
hotep was a royal scribe, minister of pub- 
lic works, and chief of the prophets of 
Horus. The latter office possibly, as we 


have seen, implied librarianship and his 
office as chief king's scribe 'skilful in the 
divine words" probably implied the same. 
He records that he was "introduced into 
the divine book, beheld the excellent 
things of Thoth, was equipped with all 
their secrets, and opened all the sacred 
books" the same word being used that 
was used when King Neferhotep went to 
the library and opened the rolls with the 
librarians. This, nevertheless, probably re- 
fers to reading rather than to keeping the 
books, and our claim on this famous au- 
thor as librarian rests on his offices as 
chief architect and chief prophet which 
evidence is not quite up to the standard 
which we have been setting for ourselves, 
although its group of corroborations is 
too strong to let the name be passed. 

Something the same thing may be said 
of the vizier Ramose in the following 
reign of Ikhnaton or Amenhotep IV, al- 
though the evidence is much stronger 


since he is "master of all wardrobes", 
"master of secret things of the palace", 
"attached to Nekhen, prophet of Maat", 
and chief justice. The combination, espe- 
cially the "secret things of the palace" 
forms a pretty explicit reference to the 
archives, and if so we have the responsi- 
ble head of the famous Tel-el- Amarna 
archival library, from which a couple of 
hundreds of letters from Syria, Palestine, 
Babylonia, and the kings of the Mi tan- 
mans and the Hittites still survive. If the 
vizier was in charge, he like some modern 
directors, probably gave no direct atten- 
tion but doubtless had special scribes for 
the keeping of the documents. 

This brings things down to the time 
when Moses lived, if he did live, whether 
this was in the time of the Amenhoteps, 
as some still say, or in the reigns from 
Ramses II to Seti II, as most aver, for 
we have no references between. Sup- 
posing this latter date to be the case, the 


next reference would be not far from 
the time when Moses, like many other 
foreigners, was being brought up with the 
king's sons in the palace school and in the 
palace library, while Aaron by the same 
token, if he was, and if he was what he 
was said to have been, was cultivating the 
eloquence which his brother lacked, in the 
schools for sacred scribes in the libraries 
of the temple where eloquence as- well as 
writing was taught. 

In the first year of the reign of Ramses 
II, the Great (1292), the king went to 
Thebes to dedicate a' statute to his father. 
Passing through Abydos he was shocked 
at the unfinished and ruinous state of the 
temple of Seti I, and so commanded the 
"wearer of the royal seal" to "call the 
court the king's grandees, all the com- 
manders of the army, all the chiefs of 
works, and the keepers of the house of 
rolls (books)". They were brought be- 
fore his Majesty and delivered themselves 


of a panegyric. When this formality, 
which included bowing their noses in 
the dust, their knees upon the earth, smell- 
ing the earth, had been completed, the 
king told them that he had called them 
on account of a plan that he had to repair 
the temple. To this the court responded 
with another panegyric, "and after these 
utterances" his Majesty commissioned the 
chiefs of work to carry out his plans. 
Here again we have the librarians among 
the members of the court summoned to 
advise the king about temple building. 

In the reign of King Siptah (1215- 
1209) near the end of the same century, 
Neferhor, the son of Neferhor, was the 
"priest of the moon god, Thoth", and 
"scribe of the archives of Pharoah". He 
achieved the coveted honor, which he re- 
cords in certain scribblings in Nubia, of 
an embassy to the officials of Nubia carry- 
ing rewards for the officials and conduct- 
ing "the king's son of Kush, Seti" on the 


first expedition. In the third year of the 
same reign, Piyay, king's scribe of the 
archives of Pharoah, went to Nubia to 
receive the tribute. This same Seti, who 
was conducted to Kush by Neferhor, now 
appears as viceroy of Kush, and describes 
himself as "king's scribe of the records of 
Pharoah", the interesting thing about the 
matter being that this Seti was afterwards 
King Seti II. 

These three "scribes of Pharoah's re- 
cords'" may have had less to do with the 
keeping, or library side of archival work, 
than with the book keeping or recording 
side, but there is a certain presumption 
that these grandees were more likely to 
have been at least nominal directors of 
the archives, than to have had much to do 
with the clerical side, although, doubt- 
less, the office had much to do with the 
preparing of records of tribute and the 
like as well as keeping the documentary 



It was about this very time, too, possi- 
bly in the reign of this Seti II, that the 
scribe Anna or Enna lived, a "master of 
the rolls", who. had compiled or had copied 
the "Tale of two brothers", and to whom 
it is said we owe a very large part of what 
has been preserved of old Egyptian litera- 
ture. This "master of the books 73 at least 
had in his collection much that was not 

By the time of Ramses III (1198- 
1167) a somewhat rapid degeneration 
in public life in Egypt had set in. 
Power was mjaintained by the use of a 
great number of foreign mercenaries and 
foreign officials in the king's service. The 
reign was marked by tumultuous strikes 
on the part of working men amounting 
almost to a revolution, and very near the 
end came the famous conspiracy known 
as the Harem conspiracy. Queen Tiy was 
at the head of this conspiracy and her son, 
the royal chamberlain and the royal butler, 


ringleaders with her. The idea was to 
make way with the King, but the plot 
miscarried, the conspirators were taken, 
trial ordered, and the court appointed by 
the King who, however, died before the 
trial. One of the charges was that the 
conspirators had unlawfully secured a 
"magic roll" of Ramses III ... his 
lord. Two of the judges appointed to 
try the thirty or forty principals and ac- 
cessories were librarians; Mai, scribe of 
the archives and Peremhab, likewise scribe 
of the archives, or according to the trans- 
lation of Deveria plainly "librarians". 
Some of the judges presided at one trial 
and others at another, and the official re- 
cords of four prosecutions are preserved. 
Twenty-two were condemned at the first, 
six at the second, four at the third. All 
of those who were condemned, were con- 
demned to death and in the case of the 
second prosecution these included "the 
great criminal Messui formerly scribe of 


the house of sacred writings, and the 
great criminal Shedmeszer, formerly 
scribe of the house of sacred writings." 
They were allowed to commit suicide and 
the two librarians and their companions 
did so on the spot in court. Among those 
condemned on the third prosecution was 
the Queen's son tried under an alias to 
spare the royal feelings. Among the com- 
panions of the two librarians condemned 
on the second prosecution was the general 
Peyes, and among those of the first prose- 
cution six women, one of whom was pre- 
sumably the sister of Binenwiese, the cap- 
tain of archers in Nubia, who was in the 
Harem and who drew her brother into 
the plot although she may have been con- 
demned in some other trial whose records 
are not preserved. Four out of the four- 
teen judges were foreigners, and two, as 
has been said, librarians two librarians 
thus among the judges and two among the 



There is a supplementary fragment in 
the Papyrus Rollin which includes the 
charges, in two cases, of the practice of 
magic and it is hard not to associate these 
with the two scribes connected with the 
house of sacred writings, especially as 
it is said that they committed suicide like 
the others, and because they were both 
scribes and the latter obviously a librarian. 
One of those who were condemned for 
magic, miade magic rolls and gave them 
into the hands of Pebekkamen, the cham- 
berlain, one of the arch conspirators. The 
other, however, is more interesting, for it 
appears that when Penhuibin, overseer of 
herds, applied to him to "give to me a 
roll, for enduing me with strength and 
might" he gave to him, it is said, "a magic 
roll of Usemare-Meriamon (Ramses III) 
(now deceased) his lord, and he began to 
employ the magic powers of a god upon 
people". Especially he bewitched the 
guards so that messages could be sent in 


and out without their notice. Since it was 
one of the King's books which was given 
or loaned by the criminal, it seemis obvious 
that the latter was a king's librarian. 

As librarians we would fain wish that 
the story stopped here but it does not. 
Sometime during the trial the chief of 
police Oneny and the military officer Tey- " 
nakhte, in charge of the prisoners, took 
two of the women prisoners and the gen- 
eral Peyes, who was tried with the two 
librarians in the second prosecution, to the 
home of the judges, Pebes and Mai. 
There, in a literal translation of the word 
used, they "made a beer hall" or had a 
beer bout. Mai was, it will be remember- 
ed, "Scribe of the archives". They were 
tried for this and officers and judges were 
all condemned to have their noses and 
ears cut off because of their disobedience 
to their instructions, or as it is expressed, 
"because of their forsaking the good tes- 
timony delivered to them". Pebes, having 


been left alone, preferred suicide, but the 
librarian was not such good stuff. 

Ramses IV (1167-1171) furnishes an- 
other case of the librarian members of 
the court. He himself, in his second year, 
having "entered into the annals and ex- 
amined the records of the house of sacred 
writings" commanded the king's compa- 
nions including again "the scribes and 
wise men of the house of sacred writings' 7 
to prepare to make a certain monument. 
The following year on the 27th day of 
the tenth month his majesty himself, after 
having looked over the ground in the 
neighborhood of the Hammamat quarries, 
first ordered Ramses-eshehab, the "Scribe 
of the house of sacred writings'' to make 
a sort of preliminary survey and then or- 
ganized an expedition of nearly ten thous- 
and persons to bring blocks from these 

In the reign of Ramses IX (1142- 
1123) the High Priest Amenhotep, chief 


chief architect, appears in an inscription 
on the temple of Karnak coming before 
the King to receive laudatory addresses 
and more tangible rewards of gold, sweet 
beer, and sweet oil of gum, with royal 
grants from the harvests. The King it is 
said first "spake to cause the Pharoah's 
"Scribe of rolls to come forth", but it is 
not quite clear whether this scribe was 
Amenhotep. Let us hope that it was a 
librarian who received the six stands 
filled with sacks of gold, etc., which 
Amenhotep had at this time. 

Under the same Ramses IX, in the fa- 
mous trial of the royal tomb robbers, 
there is another allusion to the vizier's 
archives, and of the deposit in it of a 
roll and a copy of the records of matters 
which had been laid before the vizier. 
This brings the story down to about the 
middle of the I2th century B. C, a hun- 
dred years, more or less, before the birth 
of King David and some five hundred 


years before Assurbanipal conquered 
Egypt or finished with his library. 

During the two thousand years or so 
covered we have thus some twenty-one 
librarians with names, dates and incidents 
for our biographical dictionary of Egyp- 
tian librarians, two more anonymous li- 
brarians who made their mark and several 
other references to plural librarians a 
scant survival of the mjany thousands who 
followed the profession in Egypt in this 
time but far indeed from nothing. Some 
of these men, it appears, were famous in 
letters and most of them attained high 
distinction in the state several were 
viziers and one became a king. The of- 
fice itself appears to have been so highly 
esteemed, you remember, that the temple 
and palace librarians were ex-officio mem- 
bers of the privy council. There are not 
many viziers among the librarians of our 
day nor many king makers like Senmut, 
yet some of us can remember when Cardi- 


nal Rarnpolla as Secretary of State exer- 
cised some such librarianship over the 
Vatican library and archives as Ramose 
may have exercised over the Amarna ar- 
chives, and it is a matter of no little satis- 
faction to librarians that Harnack has 
found the post of library director reward- 
ing. Truth to tell, it may be doubted if 
these United States of America would not 
gain something if they imitated this 4500 
year old Egyptian example (which seems 
to have worked well for 1500 years at 
least) and made the chief librarian of 
Congress miember of the cabinet and ex- 
officio Secretary of Education! Indeed,, 
why not now and then a library Presi- 
dent? When they classify the Presidency 
under the civil service, and make all candi- 
dates for the office take the qualifying 
examinations under the merit system, per- 
haps who knows? 




There are some things left out of the 
first paper, for lack of time, which are 
worth adding to emphasize either the 
wealth of material or its significance. 
These relate to what may be called the in- 
terpretation of the library gods, Seshait 
as Hathor, the assistant library gods, the 
prophet as ex-officio librarian, the books 
of Thoth, and the library of secret writ- 


To understand the meaning of Thoth 
and Seshait and all the many other gods, 
like Hathor, Neith, Nephthys, Tefnut, 
etc., with whom they from time to time 
identify themselves, several things need 
to be understood. 

In the first place, there is the Egyptian 


habit of identifying one god with another 
or with a human being, impersonating 
one by the other. In the Book of the 
Dead the departed soul is himself identi- 
fied with Osiris and has become an Osiris, 
and as he recites one or another of the 
chapters of the book buried with him 
for this purpose, he impersonates one god 
or another according to the aspect of 
thought with which he is dealing at the 
time. "I am Thoth," he says, "I am 
Shu," "I am the crocodile god/' "I am 
the heron, the soul of Ra," "I am the 
jackal of jackals/' and so on. Sometimes 
the impersonation changes and, like one 
of these performers who impersonates a 
dozen characters in a single act, the 
speaker becomes a half dozen persons or 
professions in a single chapter: "I am 
Thoth/' "I am Tattu the son of Tattu/' 
"I am the priest in Tattu/ 7 "I am the 
prophet in Abydos," "I am the sem 
priest," "I am the arch craftsman." 


When, therefore, Seshait, Hathor, and 
Nephthys, are found having a like aspect, 
it is said that Seshait is one of the forms 
of Hathor or vice versa, although it 
might often be better to say when Hathor 
is found identifying herself with Seshait 
that Hathor, acting in this capacity, is 

One of the most familiar phenomena 
of Egyptian inscriptions is that of the 
king as god. He describes himself and 
is described as "god" or "that god"; 
sometimes as Amon, sometimes as Ra 
or whoever it may be. When acting in 
certain capacities or performing certain 
rites he "is" Thoth or the son of Ra, etc. 

In the second place, it needs to be re- 
membered that the names of the gods as 
used by the Egyptions were a sort of 
continuous allegory or sustained simile. 
The botton meaning is commonly astro- 
nomical and the character and actions of 
the god represent astronomical objects or 


events. The mythologies of all nations 
have at their base a sort of science of na- 
ture especially of astronomical objects. 
Names are given to the objects and these 
names treated as persons. The actions 
of these persons describe first the nature 
and acts of the objects which is a sort 
of science and then these serve to express 
the thinking in any analogous field of 
philosophy or theology. The actions of 
natural objects became thus a sort of 
universal analogy and form a true, if 
figurative, language. Thus if the sun 
is Ra and the moon is Thoth the words 
express very simple facts in plain enough 
language. When however it is said that 
the Lion-god issues from the Bow (Bk, 
of Dead, Renouf., p. 132, p. 276) it may 
be translated as Ra (Tefnut-Seshait?) 
issuing from Thoth or as the Sun re- 
flected from the Moon, itself a nice sci- 
entific fact, but in reality the phrase con- 
tains also what has been called (by Arago, 


Renouf. Essays 2 : 290) "the very deli- 
cate observation," "that a line drawn 
from the center of the sun, bisects at 
right angles the line which joins the two 
horns of the crescent" an arrow shot 
from the bow would be, or would reach, 
the sun. These various observations of 
nature become however so many terms 
for expressing social, ethical or religious 
ideas. Thoth is the moon in nature, 
writing (or expression) in human af- 
fairs, and creator and regeneator in the 
religious world because expression is 

One of the commonest themes in my- 
thology is the conflict between light and 
darkness: Horus and Set, in Egyptian. 
These two are day and night in nature, 
intelligence and ignorance in the realm 
of mind, good and evil in morals, and 
life and death in religion. When Thoth 
is brought into this circle of ideas, at 
the point of the dualism of intelligence 


and ignorance or consciousness and the 
lack of consciousness, Horus is the active 
human mind or intelligence, Set is the 
ignorance which Horus (who in his as- 
tronomical aspect is the light of the sun) 
tries to destroy, and it is Thoth, so this 
language says, who gives Horus (light) 
the victory over Set (darkness). Thoth 
destroys Set and restores to Horus his 
lost or wounded eye. Astronomically 
this means that the moon by reflected light 
destroys the darkness. On the book side 
it perhaps implies that writing is not the 
direct but the reflected light of the mind. 
The healing of the eye of Horus may 
mean, and probably does mean, the restor- 
ation or refreshing of memory by the 
recorded words, as it certainly means in 
its application to the future life, the res- 
toration of consciousness. Death was 
symbolized by the going down of the sun 
and the coming on of darkness or loss of 
consciousness. The consciousness was re- 


stored by Thoth through the impartation 
of truth or knowledge which quickened 
the new life. 

The observation that all expression, and 
especially written expression, is a reflected 
light of intelligence, must be counted also 
"a very nice observation". The fact that 
books are the cure for ignorance (Thoth 
slays Set) is simple enough, also that the 
Moon gives light by night, but why it is 
that the God of words should be the one 
to give victory over death is more recon- 
dite. It is easy to see the figurative rela- 
tion, too, between the continued existence 
of written words and immortality it is 
the difference between the ephemeral 
spoken word and the permanent record. 
But Thoth is connected with resurrection 
even more than with immortality. He 
causes the sun, set in the blackness of 
night, to rise again, the soul unconscious 
in death to become consciotts again. He 
does this by breathing in the spirit of 


truth by giving the water and bread ;>f 
life, which is knowledge or truth. He 
sanctifies by words and prepares for the 
last judgment when a man's mind and 
truth are weighed against one another 
in the balances. Just what the Egyptian 
theologians were driving at in all this 
has not yet been unravelled, but it was on 
one side close to the idea that conscious 
life is "thinking" and close to the idea of 
the Christian idea of the place of the 
Word and the Spirit of Truth in the 
doctrines of sanctification, regeneration 
and eternal life. 

But, however, it may be about the more 
hidden meanings, one meaning of Thoth 
stands out clearly. As was said in the 
first paper, Thoth was scribe of the gods 
"the writing reed (or pen) of the invio- 
late god", who "utters his words". He 
"illuminateth thy path with his rays". He 
has "dispelled darkness". He it is who 
admits the priest king to the inmost shrine 


where the god dwells and takes down the 
written oracle. His thirty-six or forty- 
two books are the fundamental revelation 
of all the gods. He is, in short, the re- 
vealer, the interpreter of the gods to men. 


The axis of the various chambers 
of the temple of Hathor at Denderah is 
the chambers of the plan of Mariette. 
This, he says, by position, as well as by 
meaning, may be considered the innermost 
shrine of the temple, and it is in fact a 
resume of the temple itself. In it the 
goddess "appears under all her chief 
forms". It may or may not have con- 
tained the portable shrine of the goddess, 
but the inmost shrine of the temple usu- 
ally had such a shrine and one may sup- 
pose from Mariette's plate 64, from this 
room, which shows the king opening the 
door of such a shrine, in which Hathor 
is with the inscription "the goddess mani- 


fests herself to me in her secret shrine", 
that this was in fact the case. 

However that may be, in this holy of 
holies, with this among the pictures on 
the wall, Thoth figures largely and Hathor 
herself appears "assimilated to Seshait the 
goddess of writing". In one of the pic- 
tures the king describes himself as son of 
Thoth and while making an offering to 
Hathor of the conventional figure of 
Truth, calls Hathor Truth herself and 
makes her identical thus with the goddess 
Maat or Truth. The inscription reads 
"never does Truth separate herself from 
this goddess night or day: Truth is the 
hidden form of Hathor". In correspond- 
ing picture "the king presents himself be- 
fore Hathor accompanied by the goddess 
Truth herself. Hathor is in this picture 
assimilated to Seshait the goddfess of 
writing. The king has become initiated 
into the divine science, has acquired the 
knowledge of truth, and makes an offer- 


ing of truth to the goddess, while it is the 
goddess Truth herself who leads him". In 
another picture, the king is again opening 
the seal of the door which is elsewhere 
described as the office of Thoth, Atten- 
tion has already been called to Hathor as 
carrying the books of Thoth to Ra and 
as identical with Seshait in this capacity. 
In another room of this same temple (E.) 
Hathor is assimilated with Isis but with 
Isis in a particular role as the inventor of 
writing. As is well known Hathor, the 
mother goddess, is one of the favorite 
figures among the Egyptian gods. Her 
worship is very ancient, and she is most 
thoroughly identified with Isis. She, how- 
ever, when looked upon as the mother of 
the sciences perhaps is obviously assimi- 
lated with the goddess of writing, but 
the interesting and significant matter is 
that this assimilation should be indicated 
as the very central meaning of her nature 
in the very heart of the temple. 


An interesting corollary to the matter 
is what must be counted for the present 
pure hypothesis. It arises from the fact 
that a golden image of Hathor Is describ- 
ed in room z as being in a double chest 
a chest within a chest such as is common 
in the case of coffins. Since it is not ex- 
cluded that there may have been statues 
(and in later times it would be likely) and 
since papyri have been found in the space 
between the double coffins, it is possible 
that the inner case contained a statue and 
that writings were in the between space. 
This in turn would account for the blind 
expression regarding the Hebrew ark 
where the tables were within but other ob- 
jects or books were laid up beside the ark. 


The seven divine masters or sages who 

assist Thoth are, according to Renouf , the 

inventors and patrons of all the arts and 

sciences. They are the offspring of the 



cow, Mehurit, and were haw r k formed or 
human headed hawks. They have been 
identified with the seven stars of the Great 
Bear (Thoth being here the north star) 
and with the seven cows of the Book of 
the Dead (Chap. 148) who "give bread 
and drink to the glorified soul" this 
bread and drink being knowledge. They 
have been identified also with the seven 
Rishis of the Sanskrit literature. Their 
characterization in the Book of the Dead 
is quite esoteric and on the face of it not 
particularly winsome, but the somewhat 
bloodthirsty language of these assistant li- 
brarian gods will undoubtedly sometime 
find its interpretation in terms of books 
and knowledge. 

The account is as follows: "Oh ye 
Seven Divine Masters who are the arms 
of the Balance on the Night wherein 
the Eye is fixed; ye who strike off the 
heads and cleave the necks, who seize the 
hearts and drag forth the whole hearts, 


and accomplish the slaughter in the Tank 
of Flame . . . live in me and let me 
live in you. Convey to me the Symbol of 
Life and the Sceptre. 


A certain interesting light on the ques- 
tion of whether the prophets were always 
by virtue of their office sacred librarians, 
and not without its relation to the title 
"masters of secret things", is found in the 
inscriptions on some of the crypts of the 
temple at Denderah, where it is said, 
speaking of the secret things, "the place 
is secret and no one knows where it is. 
If they shall search for its entrance no 
one will find it, except the prophets of the 
goddess". These crypts contained appa- 
rently a library, for the crypt number four 
contains a catalogue of five books which 
are thought to have been contained in the 
temple library. It must be said, however, 


that Marietta considers that the library at 
Denderah, which contained these five 
works, may have been a sort of portable 
cabinet placed in what is the least mysteri- 
ous of all the rooms. 

In Chapter XIV of the Book of the 
Dead, Thoth is addressed as the god "who 
presideth over all the secret things". This 
may be put in connection with the inscrip- 
tion given in Breasted, where the real 
scribes of the hieroglyphs are the "masters 
of all secrets". It would seem to follow 
from these quotations at least that the 
masters of secret things were always 
prophets and that they always had under 
their charge the secret writings as well 
as other things. It does not follow so 
clearly that all prophets had access to or 
charge of the secret writings. 


It is not always clear whether the books 
of Thoth are the books which are written 


by him or the books over which he has 
charge. He, indeed, does not always seem 
to have charge even of his own writings 
for it speaks in the Book of the Dead of 
"she who directs the morning light in her 
time and observes the mid-day heat, the 
lady of the books written by Thoth him- 
self". Remembering, however, that among 
the gods all written matters, whether they 
are uttered by Amon or Ptah or what- 
ever god, are supposed to be written down 
by Thoth, and remembering farther that 
the king, when he is represented as writ- 
ing, identifies himself with Thoth, it is 
readily seen how all sacred books whether 
of Thoth's authorship or not may be called 
the books of Thoth. The Book of the 
Dead which contains books of Thoth is 
perhaps to be regarded as a collection of 
nearly 200 books of Thoth. What the 
relation of this is to the books of the Nile 
god and the known collections of the 
books of Thoth would be an interesting 

matter for special study. It is certain that 
there was no fixed collection of books 
meant by this for the three extant cata- 
logues of such collection, that given in 
the Stromata of Clemens Alexandrinus, 
that on the walls of the little Library of 
Edfu, and the five titles from the Library 
of Denderah found in inscriptions there, 
do not agree. It seems, therefore, rather 
clear that, in general, by books of Thoth 
is meant simply the temple library or per- 
haps the library of sacred writings in the 
temple the "collection of books put un- 
der the guardianship of Thoth". 


There is an interesting line of evidence 
which seems to point to the most holy 
object of the holy of holies of the Egyp- 
tian temples, the focus of Egyptian wor- 
ship, as being in the earliest period simply 
a chest of writings. It is not questioned 
that the portable shrine, kept in the holy 


of holies, was a box or chest or cabinet. 
This portable shrine was often, and in 
later times generally, in a miniature boat, 
which, however, was not placed in the 
water but carried on the shoulders of the 
priests in procession. This boat was meta- 
phorical of the barque of Ra and the 
shrine has often been supposed to contain 
a secret statue of the god this being a 
reasonable guess from the undoubted fact 
that the god was supposed to reside in 
this shrine, and the probability that in later 
times at least it did contain such a statue. 
It is agreed, however, that this is only 
guess as to earlier times since the Egyp- 
tians were so painstakingly secret about 
the matter that no direct hint, it is said, 
of the contents was ever given among the 
myriads of inscriptions on the walls as to 
what actually was within this inmost 
shrine. In view, however, of what has 
been said about the part that Thoth played 
in the philosophy of life and death and 


revelation, it is not so certain that the 
inscriptions do not, in the first place, show 
that the Naos did not contain the statue 
at times, and in the second place, suggest 
that it did contain secret writings and per- 
haps writings only at some times. 

To begin with, it sometimes appears 
that when a god was consulted in the holy 
of holies his statue was brought in and 
placed in a certain niche in the wall. This 
would not prove that there was not also a 
secret statue in the chest in the middle of 
the room if there was evidence for the lat- 
ter, but in the absence of such evidence it 
makes the hypothesis of a statue within 
rather pointless. 

On the other hand, there is an extra- 
ordinary series of related representations 
which in their allegorical language seem 
to point to writings as the contents of the 
shrine, and putting these together with the 
nature of the case and its circumstances 
and with hints from the comparative his* 


tory of oracles, there seems strong, if not 
conclusive, evidence for the fact. 

Considering first the nature of the case, 
it is evident and well understood that the 
meaning of the inmost or hindmost part 
of the temple, the innermost sanctuary, or 
holy of holies, not in Egypt only but 
among Babylonians, Hittites, Jews, and 
Greeks, is that it is the place where the 
god meets man. In Egpyt it is generally 
the King alone who has access and the 
recent Hittite excavations show the same 
thing, in that there is a figure of the god 
welcoming the priest-king with open 
arms. It is the place to which man re- 
sorts in order to meet his god and to 
inquire of him. It is, in short, the oracle. 
This in Egyptian religion at least is so 
often evidenced on monuments as to be a 

The next step of circumstance is the 
fact that these oracles were commonly, 
if not always, written. Sometimes they 


were written by the priest or king and 
presented to the statue of the god, which 
had been brought in and put in the niche 
in the wall, and the god would make sign 
of yes or no. Sometimes the oracles were 
oral, but were in fact written down by 
the inquirer, and, in short, it must not 
be forgotten that, in many of these in- 
terviews, the king or priest is repre- 
sented as identifying himself with the 
god, becoming assimilated to the god and 
speaking in the first person: "I am Ra". 
What he writes, therefore, the god writes. 
(A good example of this is Hall E at 
Denderah where the king "is constantly 
assimilated to Thoth".) In any event, 
the oracles were written down as the 
words of the god residing in the shrine 
and in the first person. 

The second circumstance is thus that 
the oracles, being written, must have been 
kept somewhere, and where more natural- 
ly than where they were given? And 


since from time to time these old oracles, 
the writings of Atum and Thoth, or what- 
ever god, were consulted, it is natural that 
the place of consultation should be the 
same as the place of original utterance. 
As the holy of holies was the place to 
which the king priest resorted to obtain 
an oracle so it would naturally be the 
place to which he would go if instead of 
fresh oracles he sought only knowledge of 
a former utterance, and naturally, if not 
necessarily, the place where all divine ut- 
terances which might be sought would 
be kept. A priori it is hard to see how 
the priest could think of keeping the writ- 
ten oracles in any other place than the 
place of utterance, and if in the holy of 
holies, where else than in the shrine ? 

Another circumstance is the fact that 
the form of the shrine, especially in the 
old times, so often resembled the book- 
chest of later times a fact which holds 
true of the later Jewish synagogue ark, 


with reference to the Hebrew shrine or 
ark, as well as among the Egyptians. 

It is, however, when these circum- 
stances are put in connection with the 
general doctrines of the Egyptians and 
interpreted in the light of their allegorical 
language that they become really signifi- 

In the first place, one of the funda- 
mental and common religious ideas among 
the Egyptians was that the voice and still 
more the written word was the god in- 
carnate the word was the god. These 
written words were, therefore, regarded 
as the real incarnation of the divine voice 
by which all things were created, which 
was the only god. The spoken word was 
ephemeral and passing. The abiding 
word was the written record. The writ- 
ings were the real god. They constituted 
his person. When the god was carried 
in procession, it was his words not his 
statue which was carried. 


From a bibliographical standpoint, 
therefore, the conclusion seems irresistible 
that the original simple chest was a li- 
brary to which the priest resorted when 
inquiry was made as to the will of the 
gods and in which he placed the written 

Once started on this track and the bibli- 
ographical evidences from the nature of 
Thoth and Seshait swarm to confirmation. 
Take the case of Hathor at Denderah, as 
given above, where we have Thoth unseal- 
ing the door and Hathor in her shrine 
assimilated to or transformed into Seshait, 
the goddess of writing, the mistress of 
libraries. As a mere matter of language 
it could hardly be plainer if it were said 
that Hathor in her shrine was Hathor's 
oracles in writing. 

The external evidence in the same di- 
rection is almost equally striking, if not 
in direct Egyptian evidence, at least in 
comparative religions. And indeed if 
Ebers' remark, that boxes of writings are 


often found in Egypt under the feet of 
the gods, can be substantiated, then it 
seems likely that at some period the shrine 
was made with the figure of the god on 
top and his utterances were kept in the 
book-chest on which he stood. Such cases 
occur to the writer of this paper, as books 
under images of Thoth and of Anubis and 
other books discovered in the "secret 
shrine" of a certain goddess. 

The case among the Greeks and He- 
brews is perhaps more specific, for a char- 
acter of Aristophanes speaks of having a 
chest full of oracles and the word for 
chest is that used in the Septuagint of the 
Hebrew Ark. And it is clear enough 
that among the Hebrews (whether it was 
500 or 1 200 B. C. is not very important 
to the argument) the definite notion of 
the oracles kept in a book-chest beneath 
the place where they were uttered was 
well understood, as appears from the ac- 
count of this Ark of the Testimonies ( or 





The chief sources used and the most 
accessible and best sources for the aver- 
age library are the Book of the Dead 
and J. A. Breasted's Ancient Records 
(Chicago University Press, 1905-7, 5 v.). 
The latter is one of the best models ex- 
isting, in any field or any language, of 
sources made available for practical scho- 
larly use. It is a gathering up of all the 
important historical inscriptions, arranged 
in chronological order, with sufficient ex- 
position, admirable notes, reliable trans- 
lation, and exhaustive indexes. It is 
worth all the other scores of sources used, 
on the side of the historical inscriptions. 

The translation of the Book of the 
Dead which has been most used is that of 
Renouf, completed by Naville (Paris, 
1907). Renouf's insistance on translat- 
ing the pivotal word Maat, now as law 


or righteousness, and now as truth, ac- 
cording to circumstances, happens to be 
confusing and misleading in this particu- 
lar matter of the book aspects but the 
translation is probably the best one for 
the general student and in most matters. 
As a matter of fact, the translation as 
"right" or "law" or "righteousness" is 
undoubtedly correct translation, but the 
word "truth" really contains in English 
all the various shades which the translator 
intends to convey by his varied transla- 
tion and the "two truths" give a much 
more vivid English conception of what is 
really meant than "truth and law" or 
"truth and righteousness" even at least 
when one is investigating from the point 
of view of the relation of truth and word 
and book and library. 

In addition to these first sources the 

publications of the Egypt Exploration 

Fund, The Egyptian Research Account 

and other current exploration accounts 



such as those of Mr. Theodore M. Davis 
form an accessible and rich source. The 
books of Erman and Wilkinson contain 
many verbatim quotations and are found 
in every library. Then there are the col- 
lected works such as those of Renouf and 
the Bibliotheque egyptologique. After 
these there is the great mass of splendid 
records of the older excavations of which 
Marietta's Denderah (Paris, 1875), has 
proved one of the more fruitful among 
the older sources. As introduction to the 
mythological side, the Dizionario di Mitol- 
ogia Egizia of Lanzone (Torino 1881-6) 
is still the most helpful aid as introduction 
to research, because of its quoted trans- 
lations and superb list of references to 
sources. It is unfortunate that this is now 
veiy hard to get and costly. The best 
first introduction to the historical side is 
the admirable little history of Breasted. 
The somewhat larger illustrated edition 
is perhaps better for the general library 

but hardly better for orientation. Petrie's 
history of Egypt contains a vast amount 
of considerable quotations from the in- 
scriptions and references to the monu- 
ments so that it is a real thesaurus of 
translated sources and is, after Breasted, 
the readiest source for what may be called 
amateur research. 




Abydos, 31, 45, 58. 
Ahmose, 38. 
Alexandrian library, 

6, 10. 
Amarna archives, Sec : 

Tel el Amarna. 
Amenhotep III, 42. 
Amenhotep, IV, 43. 
Amenhotep, the High 

Priest, 53-4. 
Amenhotep, the son 

of Hapi, 42. 
Amon, 59, 72. 
Anna, 48. 
Annals, 22-23. 
Antiquities, 5. 
Anubis, 34. 
Apes, 19, 21. 
Arago, 60. 
Arbitration, 16. 
Archives, 9, 26, 44, 54, 


Aristophanes, 81. 
Ark (Hebrew), 68, 

79, 81. 

Ark (Jewish syna- 
gogue), 78. 
Assistants of Thoth, 

68 sq. 
Assistant librarian of 

the king's archives, 


Assistant librarian 

gods, 57, 69. 
Assurbanipal, 8, 9, 10, 

Astronomical objects, 

59, 60. 

Babylonia, 5, 44, 76. 
Balances, 22, 33, 69. 
Beer hall, 52. 
Binenvviese, 50. 
Book-chest, 2, 73, 74, 

78, 80, 81. 
Book-gods, 2, 13. 
Book of days, 23. 
Book of the Dead, 15, 

58, 71, 72, 82. 
Books of the law, 41. 
Books of Thoth, 14, 

57, 67, 71, 72. 
Boxes of writings, 80. 
Bread, 69. 
Breasted, J, A.,, 82, 


Cabinet, 71. 
Carnegie, Andrew, 16. 
Case of Books. See 

Catalogues, 70, 73. 
Chest. See Book- 

Chief judge, 41. 
Chief librarian of the 


palace archives, 26- 

Chief scribe of the 

king's writings, 26. 
Chufu, 3. 
Clemens Alexandri- 

nus, 73. 
Colleges, I. 
Confidential writings, 


Council of thirty, 34. 
Crocodile god, 58. 
Cynocephalous apes, 

20, 22. 

David, king, 54. 
Davis, Theodore M. 


Death, 62. 
Dedkere-Isesi, 26. 
Denderah, 65, 70, 73, 

77, 80, 84. 
Diodorus, 8. 
Divine book, 43. 
Divine words, 3, 43. 
Double chest, 68. 
Drink, 19, 69. 
Edfeu, 73. 
Education, 17. 

Egypt, 5- 

Egypt Exploration 

Fund, 83- 
Egyptian Research 

Account, 83. 
Enna, 48. 

Equinox, 20, 22. 

Erman, 84. 

Food, 19. 

Forty rolls, 41. 

Forty "skins," 41. 

Future life, 62. 

Greece, 5- 

Greek, 5. 

Greeks, 76. 

Hall of Books, 2, 13. 

Hall of Records, 40. 

Hall of the Two- 
Truths, 19. 

Hammamat quarries, 
28, 53- 

Harem conspiracy, 48. 

Harkefti, 35- 

Harnack, Ad., 56. 

Hathor, 14, 57, 59 r 
65, 66, 68, 80. 

Hatshepsut, 37, 38. 

Heliopolis, 23, 36, 37. 

Henhathor, 25. 

Hermes, 13. 

Hieroglyphics, 31, 36, 

Hittites, 44, 76. 

Holy of holies, 66, 73, 
76, 78. 

Horus, 34, 35, 42, 61, 

House of Books, 2, 3, 

House of sacred writ- 
tings, 49, 50, 51, 53- 



written by Thoth, 

Lanzone, 21, 84. 

Law, 18. 

Learning, 17. 

Leather roll, 9, 30, 41. 


Librarian of the sac- 
red writings, 27. 

Librarian of the sec- 
ret books of Thoth, 

Librarians, 8, 12, 31, 
37, 43, 49, 50, 51, 

Librarians of the 
gods, 10. 

Library, 7, 36, 43, 70. 

Library at Denderah, 

71, 73- 

Library at Edfu, 73. 
Library gods, 57. 
Library history, 6. 
Library of Ramses, II, 

Library of sacred 

writings, 73- 
Library-schools, 4. 
Library scribe, 4. 
Library-universities, I, 


Lion-god, 60. 
Lion goddess, 20. 

House of writings, 36. 
Hyksos, 37. 
Ibis, 19. 

Ikhnaton, 8, 43. 
Immortality, 63. 
Inferior scribe of the 

king's records, 25. 
Isesi, 26. 
Isis, 67. 
Jews, 76. 
Joseph, 37. 
Judea, 5. 
Judge, 27. 
Justice, 17. 
Karnak, 38. 
Keeper of books, 2. 
Keepers of the house 

of rolls (books), 45. 
Keepers of the viziers' 

records, 40. 
Khenu, 28. 
Khui, 28. 
King as god, 59. 
King-priest 78. 
King-priest, 64, 76. 
King's-house, 35. 
King's librarian, 52. 
King's scribe of the 

archives of Paha- 

roah, 47. 
Kush, 46, 47. 
Lady of libraries, 13. 
Lady of the books 



Logos, 15. 

Lord of Truth, 22. 

Maat, 17, 31, 32, 35, 

44, 66, 82. 
Magic, 16, 51. 
Magic roll, 49, 51. 
Mai, 49, 52. 
Mariette, 65, 71, 84. 
Master of the books, 

4 8. 

Master of all ward- 
robes, 29, 44. 

Master of secret 
things, 26, 36, 39, 

Master of secret 
things of the 'di- 
vine words' (hiero- 
glyphics), 35. 

Master of secret 
things of the house 
of sacred writings, 

3* 35- 

Master of secret 
things of the palace, 

Master of the king's 
writings, 31. 

Master of the king's 
writings of the 
(royal) presence, 

Master of the rolls, 48. 

Master of all secrets, 



Masters of all sec- 
rets, 71. 

Masters of secret 
things, 70, 

Medical papyri, 9. 

Mehi, 26. 

Mehurit, 69. 

Mentuhotep, 31, 32, 34,, 
35, 36. 

Mercury, 13. 

Messui, 49. 

Missing link, 21, 22. 

Mitannians, 44. 

Moon, 20, 60. 

Moon god, 13, 22. 

Moses, 44, 45. 

Nabu, 13. 

Names of the godSj, 

Naos, 75- 

Naville, 82. 

Nebet, 28. 

Neferhor, 46, 47. 

Neferhotep, 36, 43. 

Nefirikere, 9. 

Nefmre, 39. 

Neith, 57. 

N-ekhen, 32, 35, 44- 

Nekonetkh, 25. 

Nennofre, I. 

Nephthys, 14, 57, 59. 

Oneny, 52. 

Oracles, 65, 76, 77, 7& 
80, 81. 

Osiris, 15, 18, 58. 


Overseer of the king's 

records, 28. 
Palace library, 8, 9, 45, 


Palace school, 3, 4, 45. 
Palermo stone, 23. 
Palestine, 44. 
Papyri, 68. 
Papyrus Rollin, 51. 
Pebekkamen, 51. 
Pebes, 52. 
Penhuibin, 51. 
Pepi I, 28, 30. 
Pepi II, 18, 30. 
Perenihab, 49. 
Petrie, W. R, 85. 
Peyes, 50, 52. 
Pharoah's Scribe of 

rolls, 54- 
Philo, 15. 
Philosophy of books, 

and libraries, n. 
Pithecanthropes, 22. 
Piyay, 47- 
Place of the records, 


Place of writings, 26. 
Plato, 15. 

Portable cabinet, 71. 
Portable cases, 9. 
Portable shrine, 65, 73? 


Privy council, 55. 
Prophet, 38, 70. 

Prophet librarian, 57. 

Ptah, 72. 

Ra, 14, 18, 58, 59, 60, 


Ramesseum, 13. 
Ramose, 43. 
Rampolla, 56. 
Ramses, II, 8, 44, 45. 
Ramses III, 48, 49. 
Ramses IV, 53. 
Ramses IX, 53, 54. 
Ramses-eshehab, 53, 
Record office, 27. 
Records, 42. 
Records of the house 

of sacred writings, 


Records of tribute, 47. 
Recorders, 41. 
Rekhmire, 40, 41. 
Renouf, P. C. P., 82, 


Research work, 7. 
Resurrection, 63. 
Righteousness, 17, 83. 
Rolls, 36, 43, Si, 54. 
Rolls of the house of 
Osiris, 36-37. 
Sacred books, 43, 72. 
Sacred college, 4. 
Sacred writings, 14, 


St. John, 15. 
Sakkara, 28. 


Sanctification by 

words, 64. 
Sand-dwellers, 34. 
Sceptre, 70. 
Schools for sacred 

scribes, 45. 
Scribe, 4. 
Scribe of the archives 

of Pharoah, 46. 
Scribe of the archives, 

49, 52. 

Scribe of the house of 
sacred writings, 49, 

50, 53- 

Scribe of the king's 
records, 25, 28. 

Scribe of the gods, 64. 

Scribe of the sacred 
Book, 23, 24, 30. 

Scribes of the hiero- 
glyphics, 36. 

Scribe of Pharoah's 
records, 47. 

Scribes of recorders, 

Secret shrine, 66 

Seal of writing, 27, 

Secret writings, 12, 
29, 36, 39, 57, 71, 75- 

Sehetepibre, 35. 

Senezemib, 26, 27. 

Senmut, 37, 39, 55. 

Seshait, i, 2, n, 13, 

14, 20, 23, 24, 57, 59. 

65, 66, 67, So. 
Sesostris, I, 23, 30, 31. 
Set, 61, 62. 
Seti, 46, 47- 
Seti I, 45- 
Seti II, 44, 47, 48. 
Seven assistants, 19. 
Seven divine masters, 

68, 69. 

Seven Rishis, 69. 
Shedmeszer, 50. 
Shrine, 65, 78. 
Shrine-library, 73. 
Shu, 22, 58. 
Siptah, 46. 
Spirit of Truth, 64. 
Statue, 74. 
Stretching the cord, 

23, 24. 

Sub-librarians, 19. 
Sun-god, 18, 31. 
Symbol of Life, 70. 
Syria, 44. 
Tale of two brothers, 


Tank of Flame, 70. 
Tattu, 58. 
Tefnut, 14, 57- 
Tel-el-Amarna archi- 
val library, 44. 
Temple library, 9, 45, 

55, 70, 73- 



Teynakhte, 52. 

Thebes, 37, 42. 

Thirty-six or forty- 
two books, 65. 

Tholh, 2, n, 12, 13, 
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 
19, 22, 32, 43, 46, 57, 
58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 
64, 66, 69, 72, 74, 77, 
78, 80. 

Thutmose I } 38. 

Thutmose III, 23, 37, 
38, 39. 

Thutmosids, 38. 

Tiy, 48. 

Treasury school, 4. 

Truth, 17, 19, 67, 83. 

Tuat, 18. 

Turn, 22. 

Two truths, 17, 83. 

University librarian, 3. 

(Ramses III), 51. 

Userkaf, 25. 

Vatican library, 56. 

Vizier, 26, 27, 28, 31, 

Vizier's hall, 42. 

Vizier's librarians, 41. 

Vizier's records, 40. 

Voice, 79. 

Wardrobe, 35. 

Water and bread of 
life, 64. 

Wilkinson, 84. 

Writing ape, 21, 

Writings of Atum, 36, 

Writings of the pro- 
phets, 39. 

Word, 64, 79. 

Zau, 28, 30.